Go Fetch!

Dog-lovers everywhere, listen up! Does your pampered pooch love to chase balls and run races? Do the pair of you have a competitive streak or love to play with other dogs? Then Flyball is the sport for you. In 92024, San Diego natives Brian and Joanne Matsumoto are the founders of the Ballistic Racers Flyball team. “[We] started Ballistic Racers in October of 2007,” said Brian. “We were on another flyball team, but felt there were things that needed to be changed, so we started our own team.”

Flyball is essentially a relay race for dogs. Two teams, with four dogs each, compete against each other on a fifty-foot raceway. There are four hurdles spaced ten feet apart, which each dog must jump over on the way down and on the way back. The dogs must trigger a spring loaded box on the way down to retrieve a ball, and return over the hurdles back to the start with the ball. As you can imagine, it’s quite a workout for these canines. “We have training three times per week, but handlers and dogs attend once or twice each week,” said Brian. “We have Saturday and Thursday night practices on fenced fields where we practice turns on the box, passing, and running in a line up, as we do at tournaments.” The Matsumotos also noted that the great thing about the sport is that any dog is welcome: purebreeds, mixed breeds, big dogs and small dogs can all play together.

The Ballistic Racers’ team has a cornucopia of different dogs. Their top racers include a Border Collie named Zippy, Flyball Dog Champ named Slash, and Denzel, a “Top Flight” dog.

Check out the rest of the team at www.ballisticracers.com